The Blueprint 3

Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Despite bringing in all these names to make it an event album, The Blueprint 3 delivers because of hefty beats and quality rapsmanship, nothing else.
  2. The Blueprint's vaunted resuscitation of sample-based boom-bap rap production is replaced here by big corny synth wipes, a sometimes-fascinating corollary to Jay’s corporate sense of purpose.
  3. The long-awaited Blueprint 3 doesn't disappoint. In fact, the album may just be the blueprint for hip-hop music to come.
  4. The Blueprint 3 isn't a one-man tour de force like the first. Jay is upstaged once or twice by his guests, and while the productions are stellar throughout--Timbaland appears three times, and No I.D. gets multiple credits also--it's clear there's less on Jay's mind this time.
  5. While not as groundbreaking as the first Blueprint was, this is nonetheless a strong record, its A-list guests and production tempered nicely by the inclusion of in-the-now collaborators of the order of Young Jeezy and Empire Of The Sun front man Luke Steele.
  6. The album is a hip-hop feast, for sure, filled to the brim with elite production and elite rapping, but it lacks the hungriness, the spirit, and the craziness that mark a classic album.
  7. Blueprint is hip-hop as big business, and Jay retains his CEO throne.
  8. The music doesn’t disappoint.... [But] The flaws are obvious. The three Timbaland songs feel out of place. Lyrically, Jay-Z works only as hard as he has to.
  9. The Blueprint 3 starts well enough. Its first half is good to great....But around the time we get to the Timbaland-produced, Limbaugh-dissing, Drake-featuring 'Off That,' a song about how far ahead of the curve Jay is, the album's quality falls off considerably.
  10. The Blueprint 3 splits the difference between its two predecessors, with Jay-Z sounding hungrier than he has in years on about half the tracks, while sharing time with guest stars or grappling with undercooked production on the rest.
  11. It’s Jay-Z’s world, but on The Blueprint 3 he’s considerate enough to let listeners perambulate about for a most enjoyable visit.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 54
  2. Negative: 8 out of 54
  1. D.T
    Nov 16, 2009
    5
    A Half decent effort....& a half terrible album! Has glimpse's of why we love Jay-Z & also has moments of how he can be a ignorant to A Half decent effort....& a half terrible album! Has glimpse's of why we love Jay-Z & also has moments of how he can be a ignorant to the point were you think "Is this guy serous" However songs like "Thank you" "Off That" & "D.O.A" Are great & demonstrate how advanced his head is interms of creativity (When its not up his Arse) D.Tail Full Review »
  2. Nov 14, 2011
    9
    "Empire State of Mind" was a great song describing new york and Jay Z's life beautifully with rythmic raps and great support from Alicia Keys."Empire State of Mind" was a great song describing new york and Jay Z's life beautifully with rythmic raps and great support from Alicia Keys. Must listen!!! Full Review »
  3. A.C.
    Sep 20, 2009
    9
    This is not Jay-Z's best work. However, that statement should not define one's view of this album. Concisely, it is better than his This is not Jay-Z's best work. However, that statement should not define one's view of this album. Concisely, it is better than his last two offerings, and better than most rap offerings that have come out this year. It is neither uninspired, as some have suggested, nor should it be considered an attempt at remaking earlier albums. Appreciate what a former crack dealer sounds like when he does not need to stay in the hood, but instead can make music from a position now open for youth to obtain. If that makes you angry, consider your perspective. And the sound of it? Enjoyable. Full Review »